Call for stitchers!

The team behind the Inverness Castle Project are working with the creative figures responsible for The Great Tapestry of Scotland on a new project, creating an embroidered tapestry that captures the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands.

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The team behind the Inverness Castle Project are seeking volunteer stitchers to create an embroidered tapestry capturing the ‘Spirit of the Highlands and Islands’.

Each bespoke community panel will be allocated to a stitching group, which may vary in size from just a couple of people to a dozen or more.

Inverness Castle project officer Sophie Gartshore said: ‘We need people’s help to create a network of stitchers who are resident in the Highlands and Islands. Together they will work with the tapestry team, pick up a needle and yarn, and add to the wonderful themes which are being developed.

‘Prior sewing/textile experience is beneficial, but not essential. Where necessary we will endeavour to connect inexperienced stitchers with others who have experience and can help to advise and guide the process. We would encourage as many people as possible to become involved.’

Project co-ordinator for the tapestry team, Anna Marshall, said: ‘We are seeking stitchers from communities across the Highlands and Islands to get involved to help us to embellish the images created by our team using crewel wool and a variety of stitching techniques to enliven and adorn the basic fabric.

‘There are also opportunities for those who don’t have a desire to stitch – the project will need logistical and practical support with equipment and outreach activities, so the team are also keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in volunteering their skills in joinery, textile production, or performance and workshop delivery.’

The tapestry will be designed by artist Andrew Crummy – designer of The Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and many others. Historian Alistair Moffat will curate the content, drawing inspiration from stories submitted by local communities.

Volunteers are invited to apply as individuals or as part of an existing group who want to stitch together. Those applying as individuals will be introduced to other stitchers from their local area to form new groups.

Panels will be stitched in homes and cultural hubs across the Highlands and Islands. Stitching is expected to start in early summer 2022, and all sewing must be complete by early 2023, at which point a team will prepare them for exhibition. Some panels will be designed for exhibition in the castle, others will be designed for exhibition in local areas.